Pretty chilly night last night. Had to put on my pants and my synthetic jacket (my pillow) at some point because my 45 degree bag wasn't keeping me as warm as I'd liked. Woke up and it was still chilly and the air was crisp. Finally crawled out of my sleeping bag and got ready to take on the day.
Didn't see anyone for the first few hours of hiking. It was a nice cool morning and came across a fire tower only .3 mile after leaving the shelter. Got 10 miles out and saw my second person of the day at Story Spring Shelter where I stopped for a short break and snack around 10:25am. A lot of good water sources along the way. Probably helped out by the recent rain.
Hiked on another 4 or so miles and made it to a road just before the start of the climb up to Stratton Mtn. Had lunch and took a short break. Got moving when I was done eating and ran into a couple who mentioned a good side trail to the top of the gondola, just behind the caretaker cabin up top.
Made it up about 3.3 to the top of the mountain where there was another fire tower. Took a break there for pictures and to deal with some insurance mumbo-jumbo that they supposedly needed from me. I called and it was already something I had taken care of a while back. Who knows.
Started heading down trail and remembered the side trail the couple told me about. Now I've been snowboarding on Stratton before, so I knew what the lifts and gondolas looked like, but I figured I'd go check it out for a summer view. I had already hike down a few tenths of a mile and told myself I was just going to hike on, but then I stopped and told myself that I didn't need to do any additional mileage than what I was planning, so I turned around and hiked back up. Only problem, I didn't find a trail that went more than 25 yards or so behind the cabin. Oh well. A for effort.
Hiked the remaining 3 miles to Stratton Pond Shelter where I met Aqua and Snake Eyes. Two southbounders who were fun to hang out with while eating. We also made a fire just as the caretaker walked up. Thought we would get busted as there's a sign for no wood fires, even though there's a fire ring. It was all good though because she wants it to be ok to have them there and didn't agree with the no fire "policy". She was nice. Talked to us for a while, then kindly asked for $5. It's a fee for some of the shelters along the trail. It goes directly to the trail for maintenance, etc.
Didn't see a whole lot of people today. Hiking solo was good for the soul...oh!
Trying to figure out if the mark on my a is a bug bite or poison ivy. I used the poison ivy wash I have in a stream earlier but it still itches. Took care of another spot on my other arm nicely but this one still itches. It looks like it has a bite mark in the middle. Hoping that's the case!